It was only about a week later when they were again contacted by Stargate Command. Kinsey’s leaders were being careful when they communicated their orders to him, but their location had been narrowed down to the northern part of United Kingdom, probably in Scotland.
“They believe the main base of the conspiracy is in this place... called Scotland?” Lantash wondered.
“Yes, they’re fairly certain.”
“Then we should go there and see if we can locate it. Since I am able to recognize Petbe and likely any other Goa’uld sent from Am-heh’s court, I would be the logical choice to send there.”
“Hammond agrees. We’re leaving tomorrow.” Sam said. “We must be careful, though. While they do not know it is you who are with me, my appearance is known to them, and they also know I am travelling with someone. They are tracking us, and they last placed me in Rome.”
“Then I should go to Scotland on my own, Samantha. There is no reason to risk your life.”
“That’s not going to happen, Lantash! I’m not letting you go there alone. For one thing, you don’t know this world very well. You’re bound to be discovered.”
“I have been on many undercover missions, and I have had more than 2 months experience of your world now. Martouf and I will manage just fine.” Lantash looked a bit miffed.
Sam smiled. “Lantash, sweetheart... I’m not doubting that you’ve got a lot of experience in these things, or that you’re good at it... it’s just... Earth isn’t like most worlds. Besides, I’m not going to let you leave on your own, so don’t even consider it!”
Lantash looked stubborn for a few moments, then relented. “In that case Martouf and I welcome your company, of course.”
After a stopover in London, Sam and Martouf/Lantash landed in Edinburgh Airport.
“What is it you’re reading?” Sam asked as they were sitting and waiting for the airport bus.
“A magazine called ‘Conspiracy’. One of the other passengers left it behind when he boarded his flight in London.”
Sam looked at the front page and rolled her eyes. “That’s not a good example of our culture.”
“It is an American magazine.”
“Yes - with stories about people who think they’ve met aliens, government conspiracies to hide that they’re cooperating with aliens, and stuff like that!” Sam shook her head. “They’re... nuts, okay? See, ‘I had sex with an alien’.” She scoffed as she pointed at one of the headers. “ Really ? Trust me, it’s all made up.”
Martouf gave her a strange look, then smiled. “Oddly enough, I am not convinced by what you say. You cannot claim not to have met ‘aliens’, meaning beings from other planets than this one. Actually, you had sex with two of us tonight. And have you not repeatedly said your Stargate program is secret? You are keeping it a secret, that you have met and are allied with the Tok’ra, for instance. Is that not a ‘government conspiracy’?”
Sam took a deep breath, then shook her head as she smiled a little. “Okay, you’re right... but I’d still say those people who write that magazine doesn’t know anything about that, and that they’re either just making it up, or are delusional and hear voices in their head or something.”
“I hear a voice in my head. His name is Lantash, but I assure you, neither he, nor I, are delusional,” Martouf insisted.
“You know... you’re right.” Sam grinned, then leaned in and gave him a kiss.
It was late evening the next day. Sam and Martouf/Lantash had checked into a hotel the day before, and spent the time since then relaxing and looking at the city.
Now they were on their way back to the hotel. The street they were walking on were fairly dark, and completely deserted, except for themselves.
Suddenly a truck drove up behind them, and before any of them could react, there was an explosion.
Sam and Martouf/Lantash fell to the ground, stunned.
Sam slowly woke up. The first thing she noticed was that her head was hurting, and it was not made better by the fact that it felt as if she was in the back of a truck driving over a somewhat bumpy road. She groaned softly and opened her eyes, only to realize it was either completely dark, or she was blind.
“Goa’uld stun grenade,” Martouf observed. “How are you feeling, Samantha?”
“Like Hell, but it’s not the first time I’ve been hit by one of these.” She sighed and tried to sit up. “Your eyesight has returned?”
Martouf scooted closer and helped her to sit up against the side of the truck. “Not completely, yet. I can only see diffuse shapes. Lantash is working on it, though, so my vision should be normal in a few more minutes.”
“I’m envious! To me, everything is black!” Sam complained.
“It is rather dark in here, so some of it may be because of that.”
“Hm.” Sam nodded, leaning against Martouf. They sat in quiet for some time. “I suppose we’ve been caught by Petbe’s people.”
“That would seem likely, yes,” Martouf agreed.
“I think my eyesight is starting to come back. There are greyish... flashes, from time to time.”
“It is street lights. I believe we are driving through a small town. There is a window near the top of the truck, which allows some light to enter.” He looked up. “My eyesight is normal again.”
“That’s good.” Sam turned and kissed the part of him nearest to her. It felt like his cheek. “The flashes have stopped.”
“Yes, we are out of the town again,” Martouf said, then added. “It is not the first one we have passed.”
“We’re probably going to Petbe’s headquarter.” Sam sighed. “Why didn’t we bring a hand device!”
“Most likely they would have removed any weapons from us after stunning us, so it would not have helped us.”
The journey continued for another half an hour, or so, before the truck stopped. By then, Sam’s eyesight had returned to normal.
The guards pushed Sam and Martouf/Lantash ahead of them into the large office. They were tied up, and the push was hard enough that they stumbled and fell in front of the desk.
Behind it sat a youngish looking, handsome man, with short dark hair and dark brown, almost black eyes. His face was very regular, and had he not worn an arrogant expression, and had his eyes not been so cold, he would have been very attractive. He looked very much like someone a Goa’uld would like as a host, and now, kneeling directly in front of his desk, Sam could sense the energy signature from him, proving he was indeed a Goa’uld.
The leader of the human guards stepped forward, looking very pleased with himself, though clearly he was a bit nervous around his boss. He bowed, awkwardly, clearly not used to it. “This woman claims to be ‘Sandra Carter’, but as you can see, she matches the description for ‘Samantha Carter’, and we found her real passport in her hotel room. The man with her is her husband, ‘Martin Lance Carter’, but he had another passport too, naming him ‘Martouf Lantash’, so I suspect he is some sort of agent from Stargate Command as well.”
The Goa’uld smiled coldly, looking gleefully at Sam and Martouf/Lantash. “You have done very well, and you shall be rewarded. Leave, and let me talk to these people in privacy.”
He did not use the distortion when he spoke, and Sam wondered if the human guards knew they were working for an alien? Probably not.
The guards all bowed and left, except for a tall, muscular man in the corner of the room. He stepped closer to them, and Sam sensed a naquadah signature from him as well. Since he wore a hat, she suspected he was probably Jaffa.
As soon as the door had closed behind the human guards, the Goa’uld took something from a drawer, then got up and approached them. They saw now that it was a hand device, which he began putting on. When he spoke, the voice was flanged, as normally when the Goa’uld spoke. “Major Carter... and who is this?” He looked closely at Martouf/Lantash, naturally sensing the naquadah signature from him. “He is obviously not human. I am guessing Tok’ra?” He studied him for another minute. “I think I have seen you before...”
“Our people know we’re here,” Sam told him.
“Do they?” He grinned evilly. “I doubt that very much.”
“I am the one you want. Let the woman go,” Martouf said.
The Goa’uld shook his head. “Fool! Pathetic Tok’ra! Not only are you letting your host speak, but you wish to sacrifice yourself for a human female?” He shook his head again, sadly. “How deep your kind has fallen! It is difficult to understand that you could have been gods, like true Goa’uld.”
Martouf bowed his head, and Lantash took control.
“You are no god, and it only pleases me if you do not consider me a Goa’uld!” He spat.
“Alim,” the Goa’uld suddenly said. “Your hair is shorter and lighter, and your beard is gone, but you are Alim. Do you not recognize me?”
“Yes, I do, Petbe. You are the lowest underling to Am-heh, so pathetic he sent you here!”
“It would seem I am not the only one who was sent here - or did you think you could hide on this backwater planet? I hear Am-heh suspected you of being a traitor, and then you suddenly disappeared. It would seem he was correct, since you ran off to your Tau’ri masters!” He scoffed. “Fortunately, I captured you, so that you can be made to answer for your crimes - together with your little girlfriend here.” He walked over to Sam, then stopped. “She was a host? Perhaps she really is your girlfriend? Is that why you are protecting her? Was she host to your mate, perhaps, and you are clinging to the last remnants of her in this way?” He laughed uproariously. “How pathetic!”
Lantash’s eyes flashed a strong golden-white, but he managed to control himself, mostly. “Are you through gloating?”
The Goa’uld, Petbe, flared his eyes and raised the hand with the hand device. The crystal in the middle glowed softly. “You will wish you were dead, long before I am through with either of you!” He hissed. “Perhaps I should implant your mate with a suitable symbiote? She is quite beautiful, and she would make an acceptable consort for me. I may even let you watch, before I kill you!” He laughed.
“I will kill you!” Lantash exclaimed, rising quickly and throwing himself in the direction of Petbe.
The Jaffa stepped forward fast and hit him hard over the shoulder with a baton he had been hiding behind his back. “Quiet, heretic scum!”
Lantash stumbled forward, and Sam would have hurried to help him, had not the Jaffa been quicker, and grabbed her.
Petbe was about to seize the opportunity and begin torturing them for information, when the telephone rang. He immediately picked it up. “Why are you disturbing me? I hope it is important!” He listened for a few moments, then turned to his Jaffa. “Have them locked up and guarded. I will be unavailable for the rest of the day.”